Memorial Day this year is Monday, May 29, 2023. It is a federal holiday dedicated to honoring and remembering all members of the United States armed forces who have died serving our country in war. Communities and individuals throughout the country mark the day with events and activities such as parades, concerts, visits to memorials and cemeteries, and the laying of flowers and wreaths. The freedom and opportunity we enjoy in our country rest on the sacrifices of those we honor on this holiday.
History of Memorial Day
Originally called Decoration Day, the holiday began during the Civil War on the local level in many states, with citizens placing flowers on fallen soldiers' graves. After World War I, the day came to be called Memorial Day and was held in remembrance of all members of the U.S. military who had died in war. In 1971, the date of the holiday was standardized as the last Monday in May.
You can watch a livestream of the 2023 National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. starting at 5:00 PM PST on Sunday, May 28, the day before Memorial Day. You can also watch a livestream of the National Memorial Day Parade down Constitution Avenue starting at 11:00 AM PST on Monday, May 29.
Memorial Day in San José and the Bay Area
The City of San José, including all SJPL locations, will be closed May 29 in observance of the holiday. A number of Memorial Day ceremonies and events will be held in the Bay Area from May 27 to 29.
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. Discover more events and activities in the Bay Area over the long weekend.
Below are books and ebooks about Memorial Day, available through SJPL.